The Commonwealth Institute (TCI) Women’s Leadership Impact Study is a longitudinal survey, conducted annually, on women’s leadership in Massachusetts’ businesses. Its goal is to catalyze progress in women’s leadership, including the advancement of women of color. The research examines the development, training, and benefits offered to support women where they work.
Launched in 2018, this year’s report summarizes findings from the most recent survey conducted in December 2021. The report highlights trends and relevant comparisons to previous years, spotlights the impact of COVID-19, compares MA data to other reputable research, and includes recommendations for action.
In 2021, TCI surveyed small, medium, and large organizations — including private, public, and non-profit employers — throughout Massachusetts.
Key Findings & Trends
- Are women-led organizations more committed to women’s advancement? The data suggests that the answer is yes. In 2021, survey respondents from women-led employers grew as a proportion of the total sample size, with a full 57% of responding organizations currently led by women.
- We are making good progress in the proportion of women in all executive leadership ranks but have significant room for improvement when it comes to women of color.
- The data suggests that, despite good intentions, organizations are not adequately leveraging metrics for accountability and impact
- The data on support for women of color is mixed.
- For the second straight year, only 40 percent of companies said they have formal goals related to the development of women leaders, and too few companies are utilizing metrics to track gender progress.
- Which programs are most beneficial to women’s advancement? Respondents gave high marks to ERGs, DE&I training, listening tours, and the use of expert speakers. These are well-established and effective inclusion strategies. Of particular interest, however, is the data and commentary on sponsorship and mentorship, which are increasingly recognized as vital components to women’s leadership development.
For the numbers, more insights, and a proposed roadmap for success, download the full 2022 report here.